The story of the extraordinary life and art of a renowned female sculptor of realistic animal statues
Dreaming with Animals is the first children's biography of celebrated sculptor and Brookgreen Gardens cofounder Anna Hyatt Huntington. Her remarkable life serves as an inspiration not only because of the greatness of her art but also because of her courage and perseverance. L. Kerr Dunn highlights how Anna overcame society's expectations of women and survived a life-threatening illness to become a prolific sculptor and an important benefactor of art and wildlife until her death at age ninety-seven.
As a young woman, Anna moved to New York City at a time when American women of her class rarely lived alone or worked outside the home. Although she studied briefly under famous sculptors, she soon felt restless and left art school and began to teach herself to sculpt animals by watching them closely, trying to see the animal's true spirit and then representing that spirit in her work. Over time Anna established herself as an important animalier, an artist specializing in realistic portrayals of animals. By 1915 she was one of only ten American women artists earning enough money from the sales of her art to support herself. Later, with her husband, Archer Huntington, Anna founded South Carolina sculpture garden and wildlife preserve Brookgreen Gardens, the country's first public sculpture garden and the world's largest collection of figurative sculpture by American artists in an outdoor setting.
This biography provides engaging details of Anna's life, such as her tendency as a child to lie in pastures studying horses; her travels around the country with her husband in a trailer full of monkeys, dogs, and birds; and the couple's purchase of a zoo. In Dreaming with Animals, Dunn has provided us with an affecting portrait of a strong, capable, talented, and innovative woman
Robin R. Salmon, vice president for collections and curator of sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens, provides a foreword.
L. Kerr Dunn is an associate professor in the Center for Academic Excellence and the Writing Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is interested in relationships among art, science, and health, one of the many reasons she became intrigued by the life of Anna Hyatt Huntington. Her published works include a poetry chapbook, Read between the Sheets, and the anthology Mysterious Medicine: The Doctor-Scientist Tales of Hawthorne and Poe.
"Dreaming with Animals is a beautiful and beautifully illustrated true story that will appeal to young artists, animal lovers, naturalists, and dreamers. Pair this book with a visit to Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, for an unforgettable experience in art and nature."—Courtney McKinney-Whitaker, author of The Last Sister
"Dunn's well-researched book tells the story of the brilliant artist Anna Hyatt Huntington, adopted daughter of South Carolina and citizen of the world. This book is a gift to anyone interested in issues of women's rights, animal life, art, and more. Dreaming with Animals is a beautifully written story about living a life of purpose and love."—Dinah Johnson, children's book author